Owen Bushell from Norwich gets set for mammoth cycle across the Continent - and two charities stand to benefit

Owen Bushell, 25, is planning to cycle from the Mediterranean back to the UK to raise money for Nor

Owen Bushell, 25, is planning to cycle from the Mediterranean back to the UK to raise money for Norwich Farmshare and Barnardo's. Picture: Courtesy of Owen Bushell - Credit: Archant

A Norwich man is swapping the cramped confines of a railway signal box for a pair of pedals, the open road and an epic, 1,000-mile-plus journey across Europe.

A approximation of the route Owen Bushell is planning to take back to Norwich from Narbonne in Franc

A approximation of the route Owen Bushell is planning to take back to Norwich from Narbonne in France. Picture: FROM GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

Owen Bushell, 25, plans to take a month to cycle back from Narbonne on the French Mediterranean coast, and raise £1 for each mile cycled for both Norwich Farmshare and the children's charity Barnardo's.

Mr Bushell, a Network Rail signalman on the Norwich branch lines, is already known for cycling up to 40 miles a day to work along country lanes.

But this, he said, would be his biggest adventure by far.

Mr Bushell said: 'I am cycling unassisted, without a phone and am only using paper maps to navigate. I will be carrying all my kit with me on my bicycle - tent, sleeping bag, clothes, cooking equipment - up some steep alpine switchback roads.

Owen Bushell, 25, is planning to cycle from the Mediterranean back to the UK to raise money for Nor

Owen Bushell, 25, is planning to cycle from the Mediterranean back to the UK to raise money for Norwich Farmshare and Barnardo's. Picture: Courtesy of Owen Bushell - Credit: Archant


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'I'm looking forward to getting started. I've got a fair bit to get ready, including several bicycle modifications but I am pleased with things so far.'

Mr Bushell said he was going to keep his route flexible, but would aim to cover the Alps, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands and finish back at his home, just off Dereham Road.

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He said: 'It will be a minimum of 1,000 miles, which is why I would like to raise £1 for every mile and raise £1,000 for each group. It could be as much as £1,500.'

Mr Bushell said he had been a Norwich Farmshare member for two years, and knew how important the project was for the community. He said Barnardo's was Network Rail's charity of choice for 2017.

'Volunteering with Farmshare has completely shifted my view and understanding of agriculture and how we have access to our land, how we care for our soils and how we grow food. They need all the help to get started on their new site.

'Barnado's do some really fantastic work to give some of the most disadvantaged children the real opportunities they deserve in life, so I really hope that my trip across Europe can help some kids at home.'

Mr Bushell will leave for the cycle on May 12.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Cycling-for-Farmshare or https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Cycling-For-Barnardos

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